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PurpleGaga27

Too many games to play right now? Just mostly Indies.

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Article: https://www.polygon.com/2018/9/28/17911372/there-are-too-many-video-games-what-now-indiepocalypse

So wonder why Saracen supports indie gaming. But few major gaming studios notice the potential of some very good indie games.

But most indies I have seen and some I have played are just... terrible and rubbish. Every year the number of games listed in Steam has almost doubled every year since 2014, and despite so many titles, there aren't much RTS games recently.

Edited by PurpleGaga27

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"Indies"

Yeah, that's a word that's become increasingly diluted over the years. Game presence on Steam has gone entirely through the roof, and I'm not going to deny it, an awful lot of so-called indie games are nothing but god awful shite!

The problem is two-fold. 

1) Game development is more accessible than ever. - Game engines like Unity, UE4 and Godot as well as software such as Clickteam Fusion and GameMaker allow pretty much anyone with some patience and time to make practically anything they wish.

2) The death of Steam Greenlight - Whilst this wasn't foolproof by any means. It was a vetting process in which much of the crap was kept out of Steam. The argument was however that a lot of (now great) games were doing exceptionally well elsewhere, but could never penetrate the Greenlight process. So with Greenlight scrapped, so was that filter. And now any kid with very little vision can pretty much get on Steam with little to no effort.

In the beginning of Indie being popular, the industry was seen as a 2-tier thing. You had AAA and then you had anyone without a publisher blanketed into a single group of developers known as Indies. These days, or at least how I see it, the industry is multi-tiered.

  • AAA - We all know this one. Big development farms pumping out great games, or large size studios under the banner of a much larger publishing entity.
  • AA - Moderate Studios under smaller publishing entities which still make solid games.
  • A - 1 man developers or small once indie studios where Publishers have seen potential and have invested funding.

Then you have the indie tiers.

  • AAA Indie - These are typically large/moderate studios who have broken away from publishers and have decided to self-fund with reasonably large budgets and produce games that are pretty close or equal to that of a AAA studio.
  • Big Indies - These are moderate/small self-sustaining studios who have come to make a name for themselves and have a strong franchise or following behind them. These are some of the best you can find, and chances are, most people have played or have a strong interest in their games. These guys will get 1,000's of Steam reviews.
  • Core Indies - These are generally 1 man efforts or small studios that still to this day drive the majority of innovation. They're what Indie is all about. Putting maximum effort into their games in an attempt to reach the big indie tier. There are many indies in this category that also have substantial following and will get mentions in the media. But overall they will do enough to turn a profit from what they are capable of doing. It's usually these Indies you find doing Kickstarters. They normally reach 100's to 1,000 Steam reviews.
  • Upstart Indies - The potential for innovation is rife here with this tier, and are becoming numerous. These are 1 man or small teams of 2 or 3 who will attempt to create a game and have the passion to see it through. Somehow though their games will not reach a "Core indie" status. Whether its due to lack of marketing or maybe there's something missing that doesn't quite launch them into the bigger echelons of the industry. Many of their games will be diamonds in the rough though, and it's great when the consumer finds them. These guys will usually get anything from a few to 100 Steam reviews.
  • Trash Indies - Most of the crap that now seems to appear on Steam. Little jimmy was once taught how to create the "Hello World" program in school. Now he's got his hands on a cheap or free engine and he's got a lust for greed and has no clue how to make a decent game. So he makes one for minimal effort with no real skill or effort with basic graphics, adds 100's of achievements and pumps out the same thing under a slightly different skin or name for $.99 a game. If it isn't little Jimmy, it's a greedy individual who's accumulated a crap-tonne of assets and is flipping them off for larger sum of money. No effort here either. Some might actually make a better effort to become an upstart tier. But this is as rare as unicorn shit, or a virgin hooker.

 

As for your observation concerning a lack of RTS games. It's simple. These games require larger budgets, are exceptionally more difficult to develop a decent quality title and the genre these days is considered exceptionally niche in comparison to Turn-based Strategy which has an exceptionally larger market. There also comes the problem that RTS is considerably narrow in scope. Those that do take the Real Time route would rather mix in other sub-genres such as Tower Defence, or just take the decision for Real Time Tactics. Some developers also consider those that demand RTS to be considerably up their own ass. They want a C&C style game, and when they get it there's a foul cry of the game not being decent, original or innovative enough. Or more the case, half the snowflake RTS crowd these days will not touch an RTS unless it has tactical pause, where you can stop it every few seconds cos they can't cope with anything more than 10 APM

Personally I avoid RTS like the plague these days. Even Iron Harvest, which will attempt to make a decent attempt at being a solid RTS, I have no interest in at all. There may come a day where the genre will see a resurgence. But it's going to need a paradigm shift to take it in a new direction.

Edited by Saracen

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